Campy commercials are so 2002. Twitter is the new way to get Dad elected.
“It’s addicting. It really is, it’s so addicting,” says Nicole Cahill, older sister of her more famous sibling Kendra, daughter of state Treasurer Tim Cahill.
Twitter has become the new campaign battlefield where the children of politicians, once protected from politics, and logging on, and diving in, fingers first. “If we see something out there we’ll spin it. We’ll tell people the truth,” Nicole says.
Tim Cahill’s younger daughter Kendra got him elected treasurer 8 years ago, with the “Tim for Treasurer” campaign slogan, but is now counting on his other daughters Nicole and Makena to help him become governor. “It certainly opens their eyes to rough and tumble of politics, especially in Massachusetts,” Tim Cahill says.
The Cahill’s aren’t the only Twitter kids on the campaign trail. Ayla Brown because a regular social network fixture in her dad’s senate race, and even the Governor’s publicity-shy daughter Katherine, has become, what her father calls, the “Tweeting Daughter.” Her father, Governor Deval Patrick, who has tried to keep his family private, is getting used to her tweeting.
“When I heard that called her and said you better be doing your homework first and foremost.” In fact, it’s the kids who are showing their political parents how it’s done, online. “I wouldn’t say I’m a twitter master,” Patrick says.
“You do have to be careful, it can always come back and bite you. Whatever you say is always going to be out there,” says Tom O’Keefe, or BostonTweet as he’s known on Twitter, who thinks tweeting in politics has risks, but also big advantages. “Its very succinct, which a lot of politicians don’t tend to be. They have to say what needs to be said in 140 characters,” O’Keefe says.
But with a slip of the keyboard, there is the potential of a gaffe, something the candidates are all too familiar with. “We always caution our kids, sometimes they take after their father and talk before they think,” Tim Cahill says.
And if you think watching their kids debating on twitter makes the candidates nervous, now the spouses are signing on, but their kids, say there’s not much to worry about, “she has no idea what’s going on. She’s like, ‘Joe Battenfeld is following me what does that mean?’”
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